An almost-daily column that takes a look back at how the Philadelphia Flyers have fared on this day, recalling some of the more memorable moments, achievements, and events that shaped the organization throughout the club's storied history
The Flyers have had great success on December 29 heading into tonight's road matchup with the Arizona Coyotes, having posted a 15-2-2-0 record in their previous 19 contests played on this day. That mark includes a current 15-0-2-0 in their last 17 since 1971, following losses in their initial two December 29 outings. This time of year has been traditionally spent on the west coast, a practice that's been in place almost exclusively since the early 1990's.
Some of the more memorable moments and brief recaps in Flyers history that took place on December 29:
1972 -- Philadelphia and Vancouver Canucks skated to a hotly-contested 4-4 draw, but the biggest news in this one was more what happened off the ice as several Flyers players got involved in an altercation with Canucks' fans in the stands.
With all the scoring already having taken place, there were fights between Philly's Bob Kelly and Vancouver's Jim Hargreaves and the Flyers' Don Saleski and Canucks' Barry Wilcox. As Saleski tangled along the glass with Wilcox, a fan reached over and grabbed 'Big Bird' by the hair. The Philadelphia bench emptied as players rushed to Saleski's aid, with as many as seven Flyers ending up in the stands in the ensuing riot.
Bobby Taylor joined in and fought fans as well as a Vancouver policeman in the mad scramble, resulting in six criminal charges being filed against the backup netminder.
In all, charges were filed against all seven players that fought fans -- a madcap gang who became known as the "Vancouver Seven" -- as they were charged with "creating a disturbance".
1973 -- Gary Dornhoefer's power play goal midway through regulation snapped a 1-1 tie, while Bernie Parent turned away 20 shots in a 4-1 Flyers victory over the St. Louis Blues at St. Louis Arena.
Trailing 1-0 on an early first period Pierre Plante goal, Don Saleski knotted things up just over two minutes later.
Nursing the 2-1 lead early in the final frame, Rick MacLeish beat John Davidson to give Philadelphia some breathing room, before Bill Barber hit the empty net with 22 seconds remaining to close out the scoring.
The win was Parent's fourth in his last five starts, a stretch in which he yielded just eight goals.
1974 -- Bernie Parent stopped 31 of 33 shots and received goal support from five different Flyers in a 5-2 triumph over the Buffalo Sabres at Memorial Auditorium in what would be a preview of that season's eventual Stanley Cup Finalists.
Reggie Leach opened the scoring just 13 seconds into the contest, but Buffalo's Norm Gratton tied it up before the game was two minutes old.
In what would also be a foreshadowing of things to come in the spring, Bob Kelly and Bill Clement scored before the first intermission to give the visitors a two-goal lead.
Leading scorer and French Connection line centerman Gilbert Perreault brought Buffalo back to within 3-2 heading into the third period, but Andre Dupont delivered the crushing blow with a shorthanded tally with less than nine minutes left.
Gary Dornhoefer iced the outcome when he hit the empty cage with goalie Gary Bromley pulled for an extra Sabres skater.
The victory gave Parent an 11-1-1 record in his last 13 decisions, a span in which he allowed opponents only 19 goals.
1977 -- Rick MacLeish snapped a 2-2 deadlock early in the third period on the way to registering his ninth regular season Flyers' hat trick in a 5-2 triumph over the Minnesota North Stars at the Spectrum.
Strikes from Bill Barber and MacLeish staked Philadelphia to a two-goal lead early in the middle stanza, but Steve Jensen and Roland Eriksson answered for the Stars to make it 2-2 before the second intermission.
MacLeish broke the tie 1:37 into the final session and Orest Kindrachuk doubled the lead less than six minutes later before MacLeish completed the three-goal feat while the Flyers skated shorthanded with 4:15 remaining.
1979 -- Brian Propp had a goal and an assist, while Phil Myre made 28 saves as the Flyers held on for a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies at McNichols Sports Arena to extend their undefeated streak to 33 games (23-0-10).
Propp continued his exceptional rookie campaign by opening the scoring late in the first, then assisted on Bob Dailey's goal late in the middle frame that made it 3-0. The mutli-point game was Propp's 12th in 35 games, during which he totaled 20 goals and 40 points.
Rick MacLeish also tallied for Philly, while Rene Robert and Mike McEwen each struck within a 1:25 span midway through the third to spoil Myre's shutout bid and make the last eight minutes interesting.
Momentum seemed to shift at the second intermission, when Rockies head coach Don Cherry pulled starter Jim McKenzie in favor of Hardy Astrom, who turned aside all eight Philadelphia offerings over the course of the final 20 minutes.
First-year Flyer Myre ran his personal unbeaten streak to 16 straight contests (10-0-6) in the win.
1988 -- Brian Propp and Terry Carkner each notched a goal and an assist to pace a Philadelphia attack that scored three special teams markers, while Ron Hextall made 15 saves as the Flyers skated to a fight-filled 3-2 triumph over the Pittsburgh Penguins at Civic Arena.
Ron Sutter and Mario Lemieux traded first period goals despite Philly outshooting the Pens by a wide 11-3 count, before Carkner potted a shorthanded tally and Propp followed with a power play strike to give the visitors a 3-1 lead at the second intermission.
Pittsburgh drew to within a single goal when Paul Coffey beat Hextall with 1:21 left in regulation, but that was as close as the Penguins would get.
Hextall improved his record to 9-1-1 over his last 11 starts for Philly, which came on the heels of a horrendous 3-12-1 stretch for the combative netminder.
1990 -- Keith Acton scored two goals and Ron Hextall turned aside 34 of 35 shots to lead the Flyers to a 3-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues at St. Louis Arena.
The teams traded power play markers early in the opening stanza courtesy of Acton and Geoff Courtnall, before Ron Sutter beat Blues starter Vincent Riendeau late in the frame to put Philadelphia up for good.
1992 -- After spotting their opponents an early 2-0 lead, Philadelphia -- led by Rod Brind'Amour's first hat trick as a Flyer -- scored 10 consecutive times to blow out the Los Angeles Kings, 10-2, at the Forum in Inglewood, California.
Strikes from John McIntyre and Luc Robitaille within 43 seconds staked Los Angeles to the two-goal lead less than three minutes into the game, but Philly roared back with four goals of their own -- from Brian Benning, Brent Fedyk, Brind'Amour, and Kevin Dineen -- before the period ended with a 4-2 Flyers' lead.
That prompted the yanking of Kings' starter Kelly Hrudey, but Robb Stauber didn't fare much better.
Mark Recchi and Brind'Amour posted the lone second period markers, before Greg Paslawski, Fedyk (his second), Pelle Eklund and Brind'Amour for a third time closed things out in the third.
Brind'Amour finished the contest with a career high six points and it gave the hard-working center four goals and eight points in his last two outings, as he picked up a goal and an assist three days earlier in a 5-5 tie with the Washington Capitals.
Also leading the point parade were Fedyk (two goals) and Eklund (three assists) with four apiece, and Recchi and Dmitri Yushkevich (three assists) with three each.
Rookie goalkeeper Tommy Soderstrom won for the second time for the season (2-3-1), while stopping 42 Los Angeles shots. It was his second straight game facing more than 40 shots, as he saw 41 from the Capitals in the December 26 draw.
1995 -- Pat Falloon's goal with 2:30 remaining in regulation snapped a 2-2 tie, while Ron Hextall made 25 saves in a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames at the Saddledome.
Philadelphia never trailed or led by more than a goal, as Eric Lindros' power play tally was answered by James Patrick, and rookie Mikael Renberg's 20th goal of the year was countered by Calgary's Dean Evason early in the third.
The win broke Hextall's personal three-game losing skid, while Trevor Kidd made 21 saves in a losing cause.
1996 -- John LeClair's second goal of the game early in the third period snapped a 2-2 tie as the Flyers beat the Calgary Flames for a second straight year at the Saddledome, this time 4-2.
The Flames took a 1-0 lead midway through the opening period on a Tommy Albelin strike, but Dale Hawerchuk evened things up in the first minute of the middle frame via the man advantage.
Sandy McCarthy restored Calgary's lead less than three minutes later, before LeClair's first of the contest made it 2-2 entering the final session.
Rookie forward Danius Zubrus gave Ron Hextall a two-goal cushion midway through the third following LeClair's go-ahead goal to close out the scoring.
It was also the second consecutive year Hextall -- who stopped 26 of 28 shots -- beat Trevor Kidd, who finished up with 35 saves for the Flames.
The pair of tallies gave LeClair four goals and five points in his last two outings, and 24 goals for the season. He also reached the 100-goal mark as a Flyer in just his 158th game with the franchise.
1998 -- Valeri Zelepukin beat Andrei Trefilov 1:57 into overtime to cap a Flyers' comeback from two goals down in the third period in a 4-3 thriller over the Calgary Flames at the Saddledome.
Calgary took a two-goal lead in the first period courtesy of Clarke Wilm and Theo Fleury, before Philadelphia's Colin Forbes and the Flames' Jarome Iginla traded markers in the middle frame to make it a 3-1 Calgary advantage heading into the final 20 minutes.
Danius Zubrus kickstarted the comeback with a shorthanded tally just over a minute into the stanza, and defender Dan McGillis knotted it up midway through the period.
Ron Hextall once again extinguished the Flames, this time making 24 saves to give the goalie his first win in nearly a month.
1999 -- Defenseman Adam Burt scored his only goal as a Flyer midway through overtime to give Philadelphia a come-from-behind 3-2 triumph over the Vancouver Canucks at GM Place.
A Jody Hull tally was sandwiched in between strikes from Vancouver's Donald Brashear and Todd Bertuzzi to give the Canucks a 2-1 lead entering the third period, but rookie Simon Gagne -- who was in on all three Flyers' markers -- tied things up at the midpoint of the stanza to force the extra session.
John Vanbiesbrouck faced only 16 Vancouver shots in picking up the victory, while former-Flyer Garth Snow made 27 saves in defeat.
2001 -- Simon Gagne and Keith Primeau each notched a goal and an assist, Chris Therien added a trio of helpers, and Roman Cechmanek turned away 31 of 33 shots to lead the Flyers to a 5-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center.
Goals from Gagne and Colorado's Pascal Trepanier made it a 1-1 contest, but Philadelphia broke things wide open on unanswered strikes from John LeClair, Jiri Dopita, and Jeremy Roenick to make it 4-1 late in the middle stanza. With a chance to put the game away on a power play, Philly instead yielded a shorthanded marker to Milan Hejduk to send the clubs to the second intermission with a 4-2 Flyers' lead.
Despite the Avs taking control of play in the third, Cechmanek would not be beaten on any of the 12 shots he faced before Primeau drove the final nail in the coffin with Patrick Roy pulled for an extra attacker in the game's last minute.
2003 -- Goals by Mike Comrie -- who scored for the first time in his second game since being acquired in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers -- and Kim Johnsson staked the Flyers to a 2-0 lead, but power play tallies from the Dallas Stars' Sergei Zubov and Pierre Turgeon made it a 2-2 deadlock at American Airlines Arena.
2005 -- NHL goal-scoring leader Simon Gagne tied the game midway through the third period and Sami Kapanen scored in overtime for a second straight night to lift the Flyers to a 4-3 triumph over the Carolina Hurricanes at RBC Center.
Following a scoreless opening period, Brian Savage and Freddy Meyer's first in the NHL bookended Carolina tallies from Cory Stillman and Matt Cullen to make it a 2-2 contest heading into the third.
Cullen's second of the game gave the 'Canes a 3-2 lead 1:48 into the stanza, before Gagne redirected Kim Johnsson's slapshot past Cam Ward to knot the game.
In OT, Kapanen had his shot blocked by Niclas Wallin but followed it up and beat Ward 1:27 into the extra period to make a winner of Antero Niittymaki, who made 25 saves to improve to 7-0-1 in the rookie's last eight decisions.
Kapanen's OT game-winner came one night after he ended things just 13 seconds into the extra frame against the Atlanta Thrashers.
2007 -- Joffrey Lupul scored on a first period penalty shot and added a pair of assists to lead the Flyers to a 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning at St. Pete Times Forum.
Lupul opened the scoring in the first period when he beat Karri Ramo on a penalty shot after being pulled down from behind by Bolts defender Brad Lukowich. Vincent Lecavalier evened things up on the power play 4:31 later, but Mike Knuble netted a man advantage tally of his own with less than a minute left prior to the second intermission to give Philly a lead they would never relinquish.
Early third period markers from Scott Hartnell and Kimmo Timonen made it 4-1, before Vaclav Prospal closed out the scoring.
The outburst gave Lupul four goals and eight points in his last four games and 10 goals in his last nine contests.
Martin Biron was spectacular in the Philadelphia cage, stopping 31 of 33 Lightning shots to garner the win.
2011 -- Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 24 of 26 shots and both former-Pens Jaromir Jagr and Maxime Talbot scored goals in a 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins at CONSOL Energy Center.
Jordan Staal gave the home team a lead only 44 ticks of the clock after the opening faceoff, but Kimmo Timonen evened the score midway through the session via the power play on his first goal of the season.
Jagr -- who was vilified in Pittsburgh when he balked at an offer to return to the Penguins over the summer as a free agent, and instead inked a pact with the arch-rivals from the eastern portion of Pennsylvania -- took a Claude Giroux feed, held off Brooks Orpik, and backhanded a shot past Marc-Andre Fleury to give the visitors their first lead 6:03 into the middle stanza at 2-1.
Matt Read made it a 3-1 game late in the period, but Flyer-killer Tyler Kennedy brought the Pens to within a goal with 6:29 remaining.
That's when Talbot -- who was not nearly as much of a vocal target of the Penguins' faithful as Jagr, though he signed as an UFA during the offseason after six campaigns in Pittsburgh -- hit the empty net to seal the deal for the Orange-and-Black.
December 29 Flyers' trade
On this day in 1978, Philadelphia sent Drew Callander and Kevin McCarthy to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for right winger Dennis Ververgaert. The Hamilton, Ontario-native spent the next season and a half with the Flyers, posting 23 goals and 47 points in 95 regular season games before being signed by the Washington Capitals as a free agent in the summer of 1980.
December 29 Flyers' birthday
Tom Bladon was born in Edmonton, Alberta on this day in 1952. Taken by Philadelphia in the second round (23rd-overall) in the 1972 draft, the offensively-gifted blue liner was a focal piece of the Stanley Cup-winning defense corp.
Even though he spent just six season in Philly, Bladon is still the third-ranked Flyers' defender in goals (67), and fourth in assists (163) and points (230), before being sent to the Pittsburgh Penguins as part of a package that included Ross Lonsberry and Orest Kindrachuk in exchange for Pittsburgh's first-round pick (sixth-overall) in the 1978 entry draft (which was used to select another defenseman, Behn Wilson).